'Big Love' - 'End of Days' Recap
by Danny Gallagher, posted Mar 8th 2010 7:50AM
(S04E09) "I'm Bill Henrickson, and I believe in the principle of plural marriage. I am a polygamist." - from Bill's acceptance speech
With those very words, Bill released his family from four seasons of hiding and seclusion and finally brought his lifestyle and faith out in the open in a way very few fans could have seen coming. It was bound to go public somehow someway, but no one could have predicted it would have been on the steps of the state capitol as he accepts the keys to a state senate office.
So why did it feel so unfulfilling and empty?
Part of it had to do with the build-up to the final, triumphant moment when Bill not only wins elected office but frees himself from the burden of lying and hiding to the world what he truly is and what his family truly believes. The whole episode played out as an action-packed soap opera with Bill literally running from one problem to the next as villains unfurl their dastardly schemes and the heroes race to clean it up in time.
It's hard to fault them for writing themselves into this corner. The season has built up a pretty dramatic storyline to points that were bound to explode into final action, such as JJ's slow scheming to impregnate Nikki with one of his other wives' eggs and Marilyn's unquenchable thirst for vengeance. And they have to end, but they don't have to end at the end of the season.
It would have been fine, even more dramatic to let them linger a bit into the next season, particularly the one with JJ. Not that I want to see any harm come to Nikki or her mother, but the script didn't have to kill him and his wife off in such a throw together way, burned alive in the clinic at the hands of Nikki's furious mother. It would have been more fun to let him get away and grow in anger and scope into the next season as a continuing villain.
It also would have made him a new and more interesting villain than crazy Alby. Sure he's been ineffective up until this point or at least at the caliber of his late father, but he's bound to either bury himself or them both under a giant pile of crazy.
Even the angle with Barb being the "Deep Throat" who leaks the mistress story to the press because she can't deal with going public feels tacked on and unnecessary. Sure it heightens the tension early on in the episode, but it just comes as a needless shock to something she's been uneasy with since it started. Sabotaging Bill's career and reputation just screams "last minute."
Things with Ana and her soon-to-be-deported husband got interesting when news of the paternity test broke. They always felt like a loose end just waiting to unravel the whole affair, but the bond they forged with Margie was surprising, genuine and heartfelt. Besides, if they created one more problem, Bill would have had an aneurysm and that would just have thrown the whole episode into a suck spiral.
- Did Barb and Nikki's choice of election night dresses just scream "Teresa Heinz"? Not the woman, but the actual ketchup company.
- The reintroduction of Don into the plot via his son throwing a brick through the Henricksons' window was a nice touch. He was bound to come back and give his family a chance to show their anger for Bill for what he's done, even if Don can't show it.
- The Larry King cameo had me five ways from giddy. A polygamist compound with possible incestuousness is not only something he would have covered wall-to-salacious-wall in the real world, but interrupted coverage of a possible nuclear holocaust to cover.